MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 23:37:37| >> :600:2174334:2174334:
May 15, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Alberto Picco, La Spezia, Italy
SpeziaSpezia
4-1
TorinoTorino
Saponara (19'), N'Zola (41' pen., 74'), Erlic (84')
Agudelo (28'), Pobega (33'), Farias (80')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Belotti (54' pen.)
Vojvoda (32'), Rincon (57'), Buongiorno (78'), Bremer (83'), Verdi (90+1')

Preview: Spezia vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Spezia and Torino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides still deep in the relegation mire meet on Saturday, as Torino visit Spezia with the pair locked together on points in the Serie A standings.

Il Toro must quickly bounce back from a shocking 7-0 defeat to Milan, while a haul of just three points from their last six games has seen the hosts sink to within four points of the drop zone.


Match preview

Torino head coach Davide Nicola pictured on April 3, 2021© Reuters

Yet to guarantee his club's continued stay in Serie A, Davide Nicola's decision to field a much-changed Torino team backfired spectacularly, as they were humiliated on their own patch by a ruthless and rejuvenated Milan side in midweek.

A 7-0 reverse suffered at the hands of the Rossoneri has reduced Torino's available margin of error once again, after recent events seemed to point towards Turin's second side securing their top-flight status with games to spare.

Given they remain just four points above 18th-placed Benevento coming into the final week, though, the Granata cannot wallow in self-pity for long - particularly as Saturday's opponents Spezia are now level on points with them and could also be a factor in their destiny.

Italy international goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu was heard berating his bedraggled defence as Milan ran riot in the second half on Wednesday, as the former Paris Saint-Germain stopper suffered the third seven-goal setback of his lengthy career.

After a whipping by a Udinese side featuring Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Di Natale among the scorers while at Palermo a decade ago and last year's disastrous collapse against Atalanta at the Grande Torino, on Saturday, Sirigu will instead hope for an outcome more similar to the Granata's previous meeting with Spezia.

A repeat of the goalless draw which ensued the last time these two teams met would not only add to Torino's league-high tally of 14 ties in Serie A this season, but also edge them further away from danger - with a game in hand against Lazio to come next Tuesday, before their potentially critical final-day clash with Benevento.

Spezia's Giulio Maggiore celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Though Spezia were frustrated after twice relinquishing the lead at Sampdoria in midweek, after leading through a pair of Tommaso Pobega goals, their destiny still remains in their own hands with just two matches of their debut Serie A campaign remaining.

Turning a 2-2 draw into a win in the Ligurian derby would have guaranteed the Aquilotti a second successive stab at the top flight next season, however, Saturday's head-to-head with direct rivals Torino could now prove decisive.

Highly-regarded coach Vincenzo Italiano, who steered the modest club to promotion via the second-tier playoffs last season, has seen his side earn a reputation for going toe-to-toe with some of Calcio's top sides this term - with results such as a recent 1-1 draw versus new champions Inter and previous successes against both Napoli and Milan being the highlights.

Spezia's form, however, has nosedived in recent weeks, with Wednesday's draw representing one of only three points they have gained from the last possible 18, in a winless run stretching back to their 3-2 victory over bottom side Crotone more than a month ago.

Nonetheless, as well as boasting the better head-to-head record against Benevento - the only other side that can deny them survival - Italiano's side host Torino this weekend with everything to play for, in what is sure to be a fraught 90 minutes at Stadio Alberto Picco.

Spezia Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Torino Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L



Team News

Andrea Belotti celebrates scoring for Torino on July 13, 2020© Reuters

Following his ruinous attempts at squad rotation in midweek, Torino boss Davide Nicola is likely to revert to a full-strength side in La Spezia, with regular front pair Andrea Belotti and Antonio Sanabria being reunited as Federico Bonazzoli and Simone Zaza miss out.

Wing-backs Cristian Ansaldi and Mergim Vojvoda plus midfield mainstay Tomas Rincon are among the other first-choice men set to return - with the latter coming in for Karol Linetty, who is now unavailable due to suspension.

Both Nicola Murru and centre-back Armando Izzo have been out of action with thigh injuries and remain doubtful for this weekend, though Nicolas Nkoulou returns to the squad after serving a ban, as the visitors continue a four-game spell across 11 intense days.

Hosts Spezia, meanwhile, will have midfielder Matteo Ricci back in contention after being suspended against Sampdoria, though Tommaso Pobega netted a brace in his absence, so competition for a start in the Bianconeri engine room will be fierce.

Emmanuel Gyasi and Nahuel Estevez are foremost among the possible options for coach Vincenzo Italiano if he shifts back to a 4-3-3 on Saturday, with Riccardo Saponara and Leo Sena's spots in the starting XI therefore coming under the most pressure.

Julian Chabot, Federico Mattiello and Andrey Galabinov are expected to miss out through injury.

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Vignali, Terzi, Erlic, Marchizza; Maggiore, Ricci, Pobega; Agudelo, Nzola, Gyasi

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Buongiorno, Lyanco, Bremer; Vojvoda, Rincon, Mandragora, Verdi, Ansaldi; Belotti, Sanabria


SM words green background

We say: Spezia 1-1 Torino

A point apiece serves the cause of either side, with Torino looking to stabilise after Wednesday night's horror show and their hosts seeking to sneak over the line to secure their future at the elite level.

Neither defence is watertight, however, so expect there to be some thrills, spills and costly errors in the mix at the Picco, as the spoils are ultimately shared.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data


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How you voted: Spezia vs Torino

Spezia
26.5%
Draw
39.7%
Torino
33.8%
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Inter Milan's Achraf Hakimi celebrates scoring against Crotone in Serie A on May 1, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420

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